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speaks of their commitment. h HIS Family gave up their time with family members and loved ones; some sacrificed their precious afternoon nap or delayed their football and badminton appointments. But we all agree it was worth it. We got to experience and see the Lord at work. And we stand in awe of Him. h

Shaking Salt

When is the next Alpha class? h

Adding to HIS Family by Tan Siang Tang

"Let's take up the challenge! Let's do Alpha" It was during one of our small group meetings that we spoke and challenged ourselves about serving the church. It was also during the same period that the church was organising an Alpha run. Talk about timing! h So began our journey. HIS Family small group got involved in Alpha by praying, assisting, leading, and sharing our life experiences with the Alpha participants who consisted of seekers and other church members. It was good to serve as a team, journeying together and supporting one another throughout the 10-week sessions. The presence of other members spurred us on. It gave us the discipline to soldier on so as not to let one another down. h

Commit your Small Group to hosting the next Alpha run (Jul – Sep 2016). What is expected of you? • Be warm and welcoming towards guests • Share experiences of your faith journey • Attend: — Alpha Training Workshop — Two Planning Meetings — Ten consecutive weeks of Alpha (don’t worry, no need to attend every single one) Contact claire@tmc.org.sg / 6282 4443 for more information.

One of our small group members, Bryan Chong, had come to know the Lord through Alpha. So he was particularly able to empathise with the numerous questions posed by the seekers.h Being obedient to God’s calling came with a bonus – we got involved with the lives of the participants. We shared our vulnerabilities and our experiences, and how the Lord has been ever faithful and real in our lives. From strangers to fast friends, we shared about our favorite food (typical Singaporeans right?) and hobbies. We got to know who golfed, who biked, who loved fried chicken wings and who treasures punctuality. In the process, we shared laughter and tears together. .f

Alpha Guests we hosted

Our small group also developed a closer relationship with other church members who previously were “hi-bye” friends. h

As we look back, we were happy that we took this journey as a group. Like the clay in the hands of the Master Potter, we found ourselves being used by the Lord. We did not know what to expect in the beginning. But God makes life fun and interesting. He allows us to play a part in the lives of others. We heard of the miracles that Steve experienced. We saw how Richard, Susan and Harry surrendered their lives and committed their lives to the Lord. We also saw questions being asked about our faith as the seekers sought answers. Perhaps they are still searching; the time may not be ripe for them to accept Jesus, but their attendance at Alpha 2

Part of Team Alpha 2015

Alpha is fun!

Image from www.freepik.com

HIS Family Small Group (front first left, The 10 weekly sessions worked wonders! Three participants committed themselves to the Lord. At the time of writing, one author Tan Siang Tang) of these participants is going through the baptism class, and a couple visited our care group and commited to attend future meetings. h



by Koh Shuwen

Steve and his wife Joyce, accompanied Susan and Richard, Joyce’s sister and brother-in-law, on their Alpha course recently hosted by TMC’s HIS Family Small Group. Steve was a first-time visitor to TMC. During the 10-week Alpha journey, Steve underwent a major operation and, together with Joyce, witnessed the joy of Susan and Richard deciding to commit their lives to Christ. Talk about an exciting Alpha run! This is Steve’s story: I want to testify and give glory to God for saving my life not once, but twice.

From left to right: Steve, Joyce, Susan and Richard

I had led a carefree Christian life until May 2014. Everyone who knows me knows that I enjoy cycling. Every weekday from 5pm, I'm out cycling. If I’m not cycling, then I’ll be at the gym. I also participate in many cycling events. One of my cycling buddies who had attended a sports seminar had been nagging the members of my cycling group to go for our medical check-ups since we had two fundraising events coming up. The group had planned to participate in the 245km cycling trip from Malacca to Singapore as well as the 100km Prudential ride.

I went for the check-up thinking that it would be a routine one. But a scan showed that three of my main arteries had multiple blockages - up to 95%! That very same night, I had six stents implanted. I thank God for alerting me to my condition for my heart could have given out and I could have died many times over before that surgery. The next day, the cardiologist told me that he had noticed a growth between my stomach and heart while looking at the scan. He then recommended a follow-up appointment with a surgeon who found the growth to be a 10cm aggressive and malignant tumour. The surgeon said it was too dangerous to leave the tumour untreated and recommended its removal as soon as possible but my cardiologist disagreed as my stents would take a year to stabilise. My life came to a sudden unexpected halt. I could no longer work and it seemed like my sporting days were over. My medical condition scared me. On top of that, I encountered problems with my medical claims as I had just upgraded my insurance plan. It was a dark period for me and I questioned God. However, I continued to pray for healing.

A church elder who cycles with me came to know about my condition. He pulled me aside and told me to forget about the tumour. He said God would preserve my life because I have not finished the task God has set for me. He quoted Psalm 31:14-15: “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” He told me to seek the Lord to know what He wants from me. I was shocked, as I had not considered this point. Another Christian friend also affirmed that God had a plan for me. From that time, I started to seek God earnestly. I prayed constantly and read the bible daily, starting from the book of Genesis. I came to sense God’s closeness. God was near whenever I felt afraid and lost; He assured me during my quiet time and when I read the bible. At times, I felt goose bumps knowing that God can read my thoughts. While all this was happening, my wife Joyce and I were accompanying her sister Susan to the Alpha course at TMC. We had found out about the course at TMC from the Alpha Singapore website. This was the second time that my wife and I were attending the Alpha course and it was a much richer experience than the first. God ministered to us and I enjoyed the sessions very much. By faith, we decided to proceed with the operation to remove the tumour even though the insurance claim for the stent-implant surgery had not been resolved. There were also objections from my relatives who were not Christians because the surgery would take place during the Hungry Ghost Festival. The operation was successful. I did not need further cancer treatment as the prognosis was and is good. Through God’s divine intervention, the insurance claims were also approved. Yes, God is in control all the time and He preserved my life. I know my life belongs to Him and I surrender myself to His will for my life and to be used for His glory. During the difficult period, He reminded me Steve and Joyce (you cannot tell that Steve of His faithfulness through my daily quiet time and I underwent major surgery just two months ago!) learned to wait patiently upon the Lord. My heart is full of gratitude for God's unending love and for His relentless pursuit of me. He indeed is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in times of trouble. My wife and I want to thank Siang Tang and his small group (HIS Family) who reached out and ministered to us. We are grateful to the Alpha team and helpers for their friendship and companionship during Richard and Susan’s spiritual journey at TMC. We thank them for their warmth and the spiritually enriching time. Steve and Joyce currently worship at Zion BP Church in Bishan and they visit us with Richard and Susan who have been faithfully attending TMC since 14 Sep 15 after the Alpha course ended.



by Chan Chong Hiok

This is an edited version of Chan Chong Hiok’s letter to Rev Alvin Chan, the Local Church Executive Committee (LCEC) Chairperson, the Lay Leader and the Missions Chairperson on 23 Oct 2015. h Warmest greetings with our gratitude in the Lord for you and our Church! This week, we were honoured by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ [CCC]) for the forty years we have served the Lord through Cru. Our own Bishop Wee Boon Hup spoke at Cru’s Long Service Appreciation Service. Cru staff who had served from five to forty years were appreciated at this service. We take this occasion to rejoice and to reflect the grace and goodness of the Lord through the years TMC has graciously journeyed with us. I was led to the Lord by a CCC disciple who brought me to TMC. I started my discipleship journey at TMC in 1968 when Rev Chew Hock Hin was the pastor. Dr Victor Goh, former Cru staff and former TMC member, would lead us (myself, Lee Park Ming, Kwok Wai Keong and Lim Choo Siang) in Sunday School. In time, I myself got involved in teaching classes, eventually becoming Sunday School Superintendent and Chong Hiok (standing third from left) with Cru pioneers in 1975 serving in the LCEC. My wife Margaret and I had many memorable years at TMC teaching in the Sunday School. We were privileged to impact the lives of the now Rev Malcolm Tan, Rev David Gwee, Rev Ivan Tan, Rev Gabriel Liew, Joyce Chew, Kevin Lowe, Amos Ang, Claire Chong, and others. We also led in the City Small Group and have experienced the immense joy of seeing its members grow, and becoming leaders in the Church. Today, after more than thirty years, City Small Group continues to meet faithfully. This group has birthed church leaders including Khor Tong Hong, Peter Lai and Philip Tan (former LCEC chairpersons now in Australia and Covenant Community Methodist Church respectively), Yip Fook Yoon, Wee Eng Hock, David Lim, Yip Syn Wun, Judy Yip and others who serve in other meaningful capacities. By 1975, Margaret and I had experienced His supernatural touch in an international training conference in Korea called Explo 74. We responded by answering His call. TMC recognised God’s call to us and has been faithfully and liberally blessing us with love and concern, prayer and financial support. We sensed great heart connection and support from TMC especially when 6

By 1995, we found the Lord leading us in our ministry in East Asia. This was to last 17 years. Our East Asia stint remains the most powerful and most memorable season of our ministry tenure. It was humorous of God to allow a “banana" like me to lead this massive body of people in East Asia. But God, in His grace, placed His dream in my heart for this East Asian country to become a Missionary Sending Base. This has become not only a reality, but its impact was not something that we could foresee. We saw His miracles unfolding as the ministry grew from a small number of fifty staff working on the campus, to a mature ministry of over a thousand people. We saw thousands upon thousands come to the saving knowledge of Christ as we capitalised on the Jesus film to reach out to millions of these East Asians. We praise God as He has raised unnumbered leaders on the campuses and the churches for mission at home and abroad. We witnessed history being made as He transformed this East Asian country from a nation with a small Christian minority to a formidable Missionary Sending Base. Today, it is a nation with at least 120 million Christians. It still amazes us what He can do when we surrender all to Him for His purpose and glory. His miracle continues today. With Cru’s commitment to indigenous ministry leadership, and having raised a local leader as a Godanointed replacement, God then led us to lead the East Asia School With Bishop Wee at the Cru Long of Theology (EAST) Service Appreciation Service

in 2011. Currently, I serve as its president while Margaret is the Coordinator for EAST Partners in Ministry Program for the wives of students. Our students are from various denominational backgrounds and nationalities, including Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore God’s call for us at EAST is to trust Him to make it a “happening” entity that equips servant leaders for the mission field - ministry practitioners with transformed heads, hearts and hands. To that end, we are establishing EAST Extension Centres in the field, sending seasoned faculty members to the field to train others as opposed to asking students to come to our EAST home campus in Singapore. Praise God that the first cohort of Chinese pastors has finished its course work, and are on the road to graduate next year. By His grace, we now have three centres running while three more are being prepared for commencement in early or mid-2016. Urging us ahead, this semester, He has graciously given us a historically high intake of students. Our school facilities are beginning to break at its seams and we need to expand or relocate. As I share our journey and its fruit, it has been our conviction that TMC has a powerful share in all of it. We see ourselves and our ministries as an extension of TMC - our home church – which has been faithfully walking with and supporting us. Through the decades, TMC pastors, leaders and members have embraced us warmly with affirmation, love and care. We praise God for this partnership and owe TMC an eternal debt for its generous care, love, prayer and financial support throughout our forty years of full-time service for Him. We write humbly to express again our deep and profound gratitude and appreciation for all that we have been so very blessed to receive from you, the LCEC, leaders and members of TMC. Thank you very much!

With Singapore Cru country leader Rev Lam Kok Hiang

Image from www.freepik.com

Being Part of God's Cru for 40 Years

we were assigned abroad. God granted us the immense joy of bringing the Singapore Dream to fruition. In my time as Cru country leader, we sent out numerous short and long-term missionaries to India, Japan, the former Yugoslavia, the Palau Islands, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia, France and other closed countries. Today, the Singapore Dream is still vibrant and alive, serving the church at large in His Great Commission.


the Good WorkS PoSt

Testimonies from the ‘Hood

Check Siew giving a testimony.

Are you wondering what “good works” TMC is doing and how you can get involved? Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening in the ‘hood.

Youth Avenue Youth Avenue in Serangoon North seeks to impact the lives of children and youth in the neighbourhood through activities and services tailored to their needs as well as the mentoring relationships formed. We aim to equip them with life skills and to inculcate values that will enable them to excel in life. Our programmes include study help, soccer clinic, character-building workshops, leadership and life skills development. We now have a total of 86 members at the centre. “I have benefitted from YA through the Leadership course, where I helped to lead the youth to learn how to be better people. These core values have also helped me at school and in my personal life.” - Jeevan Ace “ YA was my gateway to discovering God and a whole new family. I learn and grow every time we meet up.” – Cedric Sim (now part of Youth Ministry) 8

“Regardless of their financial background, these children appear to be latch-key kids and lacking in adult supervision and guidance. Patience is a trait I have learnt to cultivate. Of course you feel a satisfying sense of a job done well when their results improve.” – Chan Chong Khuang, volunteer “I feel self-improved, happy and fulfilled while teaching at YA. Teaching allows us to experience learning a second time round. I learn a lot from YA.” – Ding Ning, volunteer

Chen Su LAn MethodiSt hoMe (CSL) About 20 children and youth attend TMC and are no longer strangers but part of our TMC family. God has opened the door for us to be even more involved with the home, and there are opportunities for us to help lead mentoring groups, vesper sessions and build relationships through organising activities for the kids who currently are not attending TMC. “Being involved with CSL has been a tremendous blessing to me. The youths are an incredible bunch of talented and spirited individuals and God continues to use them to teach me what it means to love 9

At Home with God by Karin Low

I’m 20 this year and currently studying at Nanyang Technological University.

My dad left us when I was seven. My three brothers and I were all very young then, and the family broke apart. It was not at all an easy life as my dad had been the sole breadwinner and he was a capable man with a decent income so we had been quite well-off. However, when he left us, he not only took all his savings with him, he also left us with a heap of debts. My mum became depressed as the problems and hurdles she faced accumulated. She was uneducated and she struggled immensely to make ends meet, especially since we are not Singaporeans. My brother Raymond was the first to be sent to reside in Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home (CSL). Subsequently, all four siblings eventually lived there, without my mum of course. I stayed at CSL for a decade, from 2004 to 2014. During that time, my family did not have a proper place we could call “home”.

Youth Avenue Study Help Program for 2016 Volunteer tutors needed to assist primary and secondary students in the following subjects

English Level



P5 Sec 4 P4 Sec 1 Sec 2

Wednesday Wednesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday

3.00 – 4.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm 4.00 – 5.00 pm 4.00 – 5.00 pm 5.00 – 600 pm

Nevertheless, God was and is good. He guided us and slowly led us to Him as we started to accept Christ into our hearts and lives. Level P5 P5 Sec 1 Sec 2

We have been through a lot together as a family due to my mum’s clinical depression. It was a tough and arduous process, and extremely mentally draining for us. Thanks to God’s grace and hope, we have always recovered from the trauma or drama in our family. We have also benefitted much from TMC’s friendship and/or financial aid or advice. People like Eugenia and Eliza have been prominent figures in my life. They’ve practically watched me grow up. They walked with me as a good friend, sister and mentor through the tough times and I can’t thank God enough for them.

Days Wednesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday

Time 4.00 – 5.00 pm 4.00 – 5.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm 4.00 ‐ 5.00 pm

Science Level



P4 Sec 1 & 2 Sec 3

Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday

3.00 – 4.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm

Eugenia Koh & Karin Low

TMC also recently helped my family to settle some housing issues. Without TMC’s help and guidance, my mum would not have been brave and confident enough to make decisions for our family. Today, we can finally have a place of our own again. I often tell my good friends that, if I were to live my life all over again, I would still choose to live this current life, than to live in ignorance of God’s existence in a wealthy family. The love of God and the experiences I have been through are priceless as they have helped me to become a better and stronger person, a testimony to others and of course, a disciple of God. TMC has been an extremely welcoming and warm body of Christ. I am thankful for its efforts to bless people like me so that I can in turn be a blessing to others. This testimony was shared on Outreach and Social Concerns (OSC) Sunday on 24 Oct 15. 10


Chinese Level



P4 P5 P6 Sec 1 Sec 2 Sec 3

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday

5.00 – 6.00 pm 3.00 – 4.00 pm 4.00 – 5.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm 3.00 – 4.00 pm 5.00 – 6.00 pm

Please contact Cathrine Sunitaa / 6285 8450 / cathrine@tmc.org.sg to volunteer. Youth Avenue at Blk 123 Serangoon North Ave 1 is run by TMC and provides a safe environment for youths to meet and engage in wholesome, meaningful and fun activities. The centre is a place for fostering relationships with youths and their families. The Study Help programme is one of the services offered at Youth Avenue.


Now That I’ve Held Him In My Arms

Anxiety, excitement, joy and wonder.

Michael Card Song ID 570814, © 1982 Whole Armor Publishing Company (Admin. by peermusic) Used by Permission. CCLI Licence #306014

These were probably the emotions experienced by the characters in the Christmas story that we know oh so well. But do we? Here at the Saltshaker, we’ve decided to shake things up (pun fully intended) with a partly-fictional retelling of the events before, during and after the birth of Christ through the eyes of the bible characters.

Now that I’ve held Him in my arms My life can now come to an end Let Your servant now depart in peace ‘cause I’ve seen Your salvation He’s the Light of the Gentiles and the glory of His people Israel Mary and the baby come and in her hand five shekels The price to redeem her baby boy The baby softly cooing nestled in her arms Simeon takes the boy and starts to sing: “Now that I’ve held Him in my arms My life can now come to an end Let Your servant now depart in peace ‘cause I’ve seen Your salvation He’s the Light of the Gentiles and the glory of His people Israel” Now’s the time to take Him in your arms Your life will never come to an end He’s the only way that you’ll find peace He’ll give you salvation ‘ cause He’s the Light of the Gentiles And the glory of His people Israel

Here are four of the tales…

All I Want Is A Quiet Life by Amy Cheong

In a shady spot under an ancient olive tree, three young women are carding wool for spinning into yarn. “Oh, Mary, isn’t this exciting? Now you are betrothed to Joseph, we’ve got to talk about the wedding!” gushed Ruth. “Yes! A year goes by very quickly, and before you know it, it’ll be her wedding day!” added Hannah. “It will be a simple wedding, I guess. That’s all that Father can afford, anyway. I’m really more concerned about married life, what it will be like as a wife, if the Lord will bless us with children. So many things,” Mary replied, somewhat anxiously. “Mary, Mary, your relative, Elizabeth, is so old and the Lord has blessed her womb. Surely He will bless you, too! Anyway, I hear from my elder sister that married life isn’t all that different from our lives now. Cooking, cleaning, washing, drying. The only difference is Joseph will be there,” Hannah teased. “I hear from my brother that Joseph is a good man. A hardworking carpenter. And he goes to the synagogue regularly. I’m sure he will be a good husband,” said Ruth, taking Mary’s hand.


“Oh, I don’t doubt that Joseph is a good man. My parents surely would have been very careful. I’m just worried I won’t be a good wife or mother, that I will make mistakes. What if Joseph does not like me after we’re married? Or if he does not like my cooking or the way I keep house? What if I’m a lousy mother and I can’t keep my babies healthy or if I don’t teach them well?” Mary said, worriedly. “Don’t be silly! You’re worrying unnecessarily. Your Mum brought you and your siblings up in the fear of God, and you will do just as well. Besides, it’s not as though you and Joseph will be living in another city after you’re married, so you’ll have your mother to guide you and we’ll be around to help, too,” reassured Ruth. “I guess you girls are right,” Mary sighed with relief, hugging her two friends. “I pray that the Lord will grant us a good marriage, that I will be as perfect a wife to Joseph as he will be to me as a husband, and that we will be blessed with many children. And if the Romans leave us alone, life will be bliss. Anyway, nothing really happens here in Nazareth, so I’m looking forward to a quiet, peaceful life.” And that night, Mary received a piece of news that rendered her life anything but quiet and peaceful...

Image from www.pixabay.com

That old man in the temple waiting in the court Waiting for the answer to a promise And all at once he sees them in the morning sunshine A couple come and carry in a baby


I am old. No, I am ancient. Married for seven years since I was 15, I have been a widow for 84 years. A hundred and six years old. Startling, isn’t it? It’s not been an easy life, being dependent on the charity of others since I was widowed.

a whispering that today would be unlike any of the other days in my long life. Excitedly, I made for the Court of Women. The Lord would show Himself to me! The Lord would show Himself to me! I could not contain my excitement.

But the Lord has kept me going with a purpose - to encourage others by telling them of the Messiah’s coming. I chose not to remarry but to rely on the Lord and He has been my Jehovah Jireh, my Lord Who Provides.

And then, I saw Him!

And I have found such peace and comfort in His house, even as I fast and pray day and night for the Consolation of Israel to appear before us.

How my heart sang and my voice rang with praises to our God and King! What sublime joy that could only be expressed in telling everyone about this blessed child. Here, in front of our eyes, was the Redemption of Israel!

He has given me the strength and hope to await His advent. Today, my wait is finally over! My Lord showed me His face! Right here in the Holy Temple! It is not a coincidence that I am the daughter of Phanuel, whose name means “Face of God”. I awoke this morning with a stirring in my heart,

Simeon was cradling Him and pronouncing a blessing upon His father and mother. A baby! Our Lord arrived as a baby boy!

Some people looked strangely at me. I must have appeared as a wild-eyed mad woman. But I didn’t care! All the long, long years of waiting, fulfilled in that instant. I have seen the Lord with my own eyes and now I am finally ready to go Home.

We Worshipped A Baby.We Couldn’t Help It. by Tricia Tong Finally! Back in the Orient. Yes, we found what we were looking for. And we’ll tell you an abridged version if you would just knead our sore muscles for a while. It’s not comfortable travelling by camel. We travelled afar, westwards to Bethlehem in Judea, traversing field and fountain, moor and mountain, following the star. Once we got there, we appeared before King Herod and asked him: “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 14

Good News Even To Me

by Amy Cheong

He didn’t look like he knew. In fact, he looked pained. He wanted to know the exact time the star appeared. Then he told us to search carefully for the child and to report to him as soon as we did so that he could go and worship him too. We exchanged glances with one another. Something was not quite right with this king, but we couldn’t really put our finger on it. Anyway, we were anxious to be on our way. We were bearing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense which were really too precious to be carried about for much longer than we had done. Having wasted much of our time at Herod’s, we continued following the star. It was a bright star.

Pant. Pant. One minute, I’m seated on the ground with Eli and Zech, having a good, lazy yarn while keeping watch over the flock by night. Same old, same old. The next minute, I’m hurrying to Bethlehem! I hope nothing happens to the sheep. We always have only the stars for light, and our oil lamps of course. Our eyes are accustomed to the darkness. So when that light came, it was ... dazzling. No, no. Stunning. No, no. Just … blinding! Now, I consider myself a brave man. I’d have to be one wouldn’t I, living out in the open with these sheep for many months in the year? Far from home. Living in the hills and valleys, among rocks and pebbles. Facing off against thieves and beasts, with just my rod, staff and sling for “weapons”. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the angel (I guess it was an angel) appears. Then that singing throng which looked like some army from heaven.

A star of wonder. A star of night. A royal beauty as stars go. In the dark night of Bethlehem, it really was our guiding light. It went ahead of us and then it stopped over a manger. We went in and there was the infant with his mother. It may sound strange but there was nothing else we could think of doing but to bow down and worship. Yes, yes, you didn’t hear wrongly - we bowed down and worshipped this Infant King. We really couldn’t help it. There were these shepherds who looked a bit embarrassed in our presence. They needn’t have been. The Lord had clearly thought that it was fitting for them to be the first to hear the good news that would bring great joy to all people.

by Tricia Tong Did it have to be so upfront and personal? Couldn’t they have just appeared in the distance? If Eli and Zech weren’t also there, I might have thought my mind was going woolly, such a mighty dread having seized me. Good news to all people! The angel had said. A Saviour had been born. To all people! Even me! Me? Smelly me, who doesn’t remember the last time I had a bath. Despised me, just because some black sheep (if you’ll pardon the pun) in my fraternity have been less than honest. Poor me, having to watch these equally smelly and rather stupid sheep, just to earn a small wage. But I am a responsible shepherd, that I am. Pant. Pant. What’s that, Eli? You see the manger? Hurry up, Zech! What a baby – a Saviour baby is doing in a manger I just can’t imagine!

What was it they told the young mother and father who were listening so intently? Ah, that angels had appeared to them, and said: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” We were amazed at what we heard. And oh, the glowing face of the mother who looked on serenely at her special child. We are sure she didn’t sleep that night pondering over these things, and not just to take care of a crying baby! No, no, we certainly did not report to Herod that we had found the King and God and Sacrifice. This is the other amazing thing. All of us – yes all of us – had the same dream that night. We were warned not to go back to Herod. So we didn’t. We didn’t feel obliged to anyway. He had been of no help. And there really was something amiss about him.

Image from www.freeimages.com

“I, Anna, Have Seen The Lord!”


CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT JESUS. Ah-but-then?* Christmas is about Jesus, not presents. Guess what? Most people – yes even pre-believers - actually know that already. But what is it about Jesus that people know, or think they know? Make a Difference and BLESS someone this Christmas. Show them the love of Jesus through your genuine friendship. Our Christmas focus this year is to engage intentionally in relationships. No pressure to “evangelise”. Just BLESS someone. This blessing can take place anywhere and anytime: over an afternoon tea, lunch with a colleague, supper after a gym workout, a Christmas party at home or even on holiday with family or friends during this Christmas season.


egin in prayer

isten to their joys and concerns


at and fellowship with them


TMC Resource Centre features these books for the Christmas season STORIES OF CHRISTMAS CAROLS (245 EMU) Author: Ernest K. Emurian


S What do you need? No, it’s not more training. Simply an intention to bring someone dear one step closer to knowing Jesus Christ. We have a Christmas kit to help you get started if you are unsure where to begin. All resources are available at the iSunday Counter or www.tmc.org.sg/xmas2015.html. The kit contains tips on sharing your faith, carol and party guides.

erve and be their present help in times of need


hare Christmas joy and what it means to you

THE POWER OF CHRISTMAS PRAYER (240 OMA) Author: Stormie Omartian

Respond with Christmas joy to the “ah-but-den”! You can contact Claire / claire@tmc.org.sg / 6282 4443 so that the Witness & Evangelism team can pray with you and provide you with other support which you may need. h

CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND THEIR STORIES (245 CHR) Compiled by: Christopher Idle



Image from www.freepik.com


*Singlish for “That’s stating the obvious!”

Latest arrivals from SKS


YOU HAVE A BRAIN, A TEEN’S GUIDE TO THINK BIG Author: Ben Carson, MD with Gregg Lewis & Deborah Shaw Lewis

Head to the TMC Resource Centre on Level 2 to browse and borrow the above titles, or to browse through other available books, CDs and DVDs. 17

From a Children’s BiBle to Baptism


Sunday 27 Dec 10.00am - 12.00pm Organised by the WSCS Go, tell it to your domestic helper Fellowship Games Brunch The warmth of Jesus in a foreign country. Invite her to this Christmas celebration. 18

By Ken Goh

My f i r st enc ou nter w it h G o d wa s w h en I wa s a c h i l d. I was given a children’s bible as a gift from one of my mother’s friends. It was illustrated with many pictures and written in simple English with large fonts which made it easy and pleasurable to read. I used to read it like a story book several times over. I think that sowed the first seeds of the Gospel in me. I came to know Christ Jesus more over the years as friends would encourage me to attend church with them. I obliged, but my sporadic and occasional visits did not bear fruit. I was often worried about what my prebelieving family and friends would think. In addition, I was caught up with the world, studying so that I could achieve good grades. I enjoyed my hobbies and was reluctant to sacrifice time for anything else. I met my fiancée six years ago. She has been my guiding light. She has shown me how wonderful having a relationship with God can be and how amazing His love truly is. Amid the ups and downs of my spiritual journey, I am happy to declare that I have grown much closer to God over the years. I have even brought my mother to church on several occasions. Being baptised is something I want to do - to commit myself to God, and to thank Him for His amazing grace. The next baptism class starts on Sun 10 Jan 16 for four sessions with baptism on Sun 14 Feb. Please apply through Park Ming /parkming@tmc.org.sg or www.tmc.org.sg/baptism.html


Who Are The Leaders in Your Neighbourhood? Last year, the Saltshaker ran an article “A Conference on Conferences” to explain the relationships between the General Conference, the Annual Conference and the Local Conference. We bet you’ve forgotten! For those of you who need a refresher, see the photo below! The Local Conference opted for a group photo to remind you of the roles of each member of the Local Conference. See if you can guess what these are before you read the explanatory notes.

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In a lovely Chinese brocade top is Mandarin Service

As Church Administrator, Tan Kim Lam is ex-officio

Pastors Alvin Chan, Peter Goh, Paul Nga.

Concerns (OSC) Chairperson. She works with

Chairperson-designate, Carol Lie.

in the LCEC. Those box files are just part of his large

Jestyn Koh who is Lay Executive Staff (OSC). They


are holding hand-shaped back scratchers, which are


meant to remind us to reach out and help someone.

With her youthful visage, Ling Leong Siung does not

Preachers Violet Khor, Kwa Kiem Kiok, Timothy Yong and

Clever huh?

look like she’s eligible for the seat of Glowing Years


doesn’t work in Raffles Place.



blouse, but Katherine Loh, WSCS (Women’s Society of Christian Service) Chairperson wants you not to stereotype the WSCS which is more than about food.


Daryl Ong, Worship & Music Chairperson.

her ukulele.


YOUTH MINISTRY Emily Tan is clearly suited to be Youth Ministry Chairperson given the number of jumps she had to execute for this photo.

WORSHIP & MUSIC Ever seen a bass guitarist dressed in choir robes? That’s

Ministry Chairperson. You should watch her jive with

WSCS She’s carrying a tray of delicacies and a beaded ladies’



Left to Right: Carrying a copy of the pew bible are our Local

Daniel Hum is the Young Adults Ministry Chairperson. But he



Left to Right: Eugenia Koh is our Outreach & Social

Suitably decked in the Raffles Place uniform of shirt and tie,



Left to Right: All tightly squeezed into the pulpit are our

Ang Hern Shung.





FINANCE Left to Right: They’re the folks who look after the money. Careful with that wad of $50 notes, Lim Sue Yien, Finance Committee Chairperson, Woon Tai Keat, Treasurer, and Eugene Koh, Assistant Treasurer remind

Is he a giant? You can just about see the leg of the ladder on

us to pledge and tithe respectively through the pledge

which Property ChairpersonWong Ting Ling is perched.

cards and offering bag they hold.







Koh Eu Beng, Captain of the 47th Company Boys’

Left to Right: George Sathiasingam, Children’s Ministry

Brigade, can deliver a resounding “Sedia!” if you’re

Chairperson, is cuddling an enormous teddy. Close by is

slouching in your seat reading this.

Alice Lim, Lay Ministry Staff (CM; Prayer & Intercession).




Left to Right: Although they have notebooks in their hands,

Claire Lowe, Lay Executive Staff (Witness & Evan-

they can speed type what you’re saying. Tan Sue Ann and

gelism), reminds us that Alpha is very much a part

Dexter Chia are our Recording Secretary and Assistant

of our efforts to reach out to pre-believers.

Recording Secretary respectively.




Tick tock. Reminding us of God’s faithfulness in

Paul Chong is holding a bag with X-Men printed on it.

the passing of time is Victor Seah, Church

He says it represents “POWER”! Hmm, the Governance


Chairperson would think that, wouldn’t he?




Yes, that’s me, Tricia Tong, Communications Chairperson, gripping past copies of this humble bi-monthly magazine (are you reading it from cover to cover?) in one hand, and my telecommunications device in the other.



SMALL GROUPS Colin Yip, Small Groups Chairperson, demonstrates the

The PPRSC is not part of the LCEC. It looks after all matters with regard to the appointment of pastors and staff employed by TMC.

Cambodian flag and is decked out in Khmer-motif.

(L-R) Andy Chew, Ronnie Tan, Caroline Lim, Debbie Tng, Pang Khang Chau, Hum Sin Hoon.


The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS), which consists of 45 local congregations, is organised by conferences:

Andy Chew, Richard Seng are anything but idle as

General Conference

Annual Conferences

District and local conferences.

they lead clusters of LCEC members.

our discipleship are Albert Yeo, Discipleship & Nurture


Kelvin Tan, Missions Chairperson, flies the

lying down but Kenga, Keegan Ong, Ang Poh Kit,

Left to Right: Holding up various resources to help us with



Left to Right: Our Lay Leaders are er… kind of


Chairperson, and Lee Park Ming, Lay Executive Staff



PASTORAL CARE MINISTRY You are invited to have a cup of coffee with Wee Eng Hock, Pastoral Care Ministry Chairperson, and experience the warmth of his hospitality.

The General Conference meets every four years, and is the highest decision-making body of the MCS. It is the only body that speaks officially for the church.

care a small group gives by draping an arm over Park Ming. Two can make a small group.




PPRSC Chairperson); Chew Kim Ling (Associate Lay Leader; Witness & Evangelism Chairperson);

his knees with hands clasped.

Eddie Goh (Lay Ministry Staff, Mandarin Service

HONORARY STEWARDS Judy Yip and P Sathia, are spared the antics of us younger ones by being seated in a stately manner.

LCEC CHAIRPERSON Hum Sin Hoon is very sporting by taking a little stool. Chairperson. Geddit?


Not in photos: Robert Yeo (Associate Lay Leader,

Sim Cher Khee, Prayer & Intercession Chairperson, is on

Left to Right: Our Honorary Stewards, Khor Tong Hong,


Under the General Conference, there are three annual conferences:

and Local Preacher); Kevin Lowe (Local Preacher); Jacob Cheng (Local Preacher); Lee Hui Ling (Captain, Girls’ Brigade 55th Company).

Chinese Annual Conference (CAC)

Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC)

Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC)

Local churches, like Trinity Methodist Church (TMC), are organised by conference. The Local Conference of TMC comes under TRAC. The Local Conference: •

Is the connecting link between the local church and the Methodist Church.

Includes the pastors, Local Church Executive Committee (LCEC), local preachers, honorary stewards and the chairperson of the Pastor-Parish Relations and Staff Committee (PPRSC)


回顾过去、 展望未来


华语崇拜12周年 Mandarin Service 12th Anniversary

卫理公会三一堂华语崇拜从 2003年至今已12周年,回顾过 去的年日,一路走来都是上帝 的恩典满满。 2003年11月蒙上帝的启示与 带领卫理公会三一堂开始了华 语事工。当时虽然只有十来 个弟兄姐妹,但每一位都带着 喜乐和热诚。在张绍群传道的 召聚下,风雨不改地持续了一 年。2003年 - 2014年借用 Lorong Ah Soo 美以美卫理小学 的食堂聚会。2005年圣殿重建 完工后就回到教会的祷告室聚 会。随着人数的增加,须要更 大的空间,接着就转移到亚伯 拉罕室。从20多位,神加添得 救人数至40-50人。2006年就 正式在圣殿举行主日崇拜,马 淑英传道也参与;2008年张 绍群传道蒙主呼召到柬埔寨宣 24

教,就由伍显芬传道接棒。 上帝启示伍传道开始每主日崇 拜前的祷告会(许多祷告蒙神 垂听、得神应允)和散会后或 周日的小组聚会;为了使弟兄 姐妹有团契的时间和参加小 组,本来由姐妹们自由奉献所 预备的午餐也因着人数加增至 80-90人得外包。至今华语事工 已成熟成为华语崇拜,蒙上帝 的厚爱,人数达到100-110人。 教会的人数只是一个数字,而 每一位弟兄姐妹的灵命比人数 更重要,须要不断地成长。“ 门徒班”、“不再一样”、“ 圣经总揽”、“经历神”等等 的课程都是为弟兄姐妹所设的 栽培课题。每个月的社区外 展,如圣路加关怀事工、饮茶 事工、心理卫生学院(IMH)事工

都因着圣灵的动工,许多人都 有机会听到福音而得救恩。以 上这些都是我们华崇的历史和 现有的事工。‘万军之耶和华 说、不是倚靠势力、不是倚靠 才能、乃是倚靠我的灵、方能 成事。[撒4:6]。

上帝旨意的崇拜。 3) 成为社区的灯塔,帮助和 指引有需要的人。 4) 华语崇拜与英语崇拜更紧 密的携手进行社区工作。 5) 装备更多神的工人撒种、 收割。

伍显芬传道对华语崇拜抱有很 大的展望,希望弟兄姐妹能继 续在主里同心合一,凡事祷 告,有同样的异象和使命,更 多人加入事奉的队伍: 1) 华语崇拜成为一个广传福 音的崇拜。 2) 成为一个坚信祷告、成就

从异象到建立、栽培到收割、 壮大到扩张,都得感谢天父栽 种、浇灌、修剪、才能不断地 收成。‘因为 神本性一切的 丰盛、都有形有体的居住在基 督里面. 你们在他里面也得了 丰盛。他是各样执政掌权者的 元首. [歌罗西书2:9-10]

2005年2周年 2nd Anniversary in 2005

2007年4周年 - 巴淡岛营会 4th Anniversary in 2007 at Batam

时间过得非常快。转眼间,我们的华语 崇拜度过12周年。感谢主这些年来的看 顾和带领。在这12 年的过程中,我们主 办第一次的布道会、家庭营、双亲节、 中秋节目、一日游等。感谢主的恩典, 每个礼拜人数不断地增加。神的作为让 我们见证到他一步一步地带领华语崇拜 不断地增长。荣耀归于上帝。 – 王兆容姐妹 25

rememBering the past, LookinG to the future

By Alice Goh & Rebekah Goh

The Mandarin Service at TMC started in 2003. In the blink of an eye, it is celebrating its 12th anniversary by the grace of God. In obedience to the Lord’s revelation and leading, the Mandarin Ministry started with only 10 brothers and sisters in Christ. Though small in number, everyone brought with them a joy and passion for the Lord. From 2003 to 2014, Jacob Cheng led the Ministry, which met at the canteen of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls School (Primary) in Lorong Ah Soo. The Ministry found more comfortable quarters in the TMC Prayer Chapel after the redevelopment of the church building was completed in 2005. The number of believers increased and the Ministry found itself in worshipping in the Abraham lounge. The Lord continued to add to their number. From 20 persons, the Ministry grew to 40-50 persons such that in 2006, the Ministry formally commenced services at the Sanctuary. Ms Mah Seok Eng also became involved with the service. In 2008, Jacob Cheng answered the Lord’s call to be a missionary in Cambodia. The baton was therefore passed to Eddie Goh.

2004 年在祷告室庆祝1周年 Celebrating our 1st Anniversary in the Prayer Chapel in 2004 The Lord directed Eddie to begin a prayer meeting every Sunday. Many a prayer has been answered by the Lord through this prayer meeting. The Lord also led Eddie to start small group meetings after the Sunday services. With all these additional activities, and the need for fruitful fellowship amongst the increasing number of worshippers, the sisters who had faithfully and lovingly prepared lunch for the worshippers after the service relinquished this task to external caterers. Today, the Ministry has become a Mandarin Service with 100-110 worshippers.

The number of worshippers in attendance each Sunday is just that – a number. Of much more importance is the spiritual lives of each worshipper. Each believer must continue to grow. “DISCIPLE”, “No Longer The Same”, “Bible Overview”, “Experiencing God” are courses designed to nurture each believer. In addition, in the course of our monthly outreach efforts to St Luke’s Eldercare Centre, Yum Cha @ 10, and the Institute of Mental Health, we have witnessed the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of those who have heard the Gospel and been saved. These are the Mandarin Service’s past and present ministries. “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zech 4:6) Eddie has great hopes for the Mandarin Service. He desires that all the brothers and sisters will remain united in the Lord, commit all things to prayer, have the same vision and mission, and that more will be active in ministry. Here are more of his aspirations. That the Mandarin Service will be:

1) A body that sows the seed of the Gospel liberally. 2) A body that firmly believes in the power of prayer, and fulfills the Lord’s will in all things. 3) Like a lighthouse, helping and guiding those in need. 4) Work more closely in partnership with the English services to reach out to others in the community 5) Equip more workers to sow the seed of the Gospel, and reap the fruits for God. We thank God our Father for planting, watering, pruning us, in order for us to have expanded and grown to such a large number of worshippers. It is only through Him that we have been able to do the seed-sowing and reaping work for His glory. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

2005年圣诞布道会 Christmas Evangelistic Event in 2005

2004年在美以美卫理小学食堂听牧师讲道 Sermon at Paya Lebar MGS canteen in 2004

Time flies. In a twinkling of an eye, the Mandarin Service is celebrating its 12th anniversary. Thanks be to God for His care and guidance. In these 12 years, we have organised evangelistic events, family camps, family days, Mid-Autumn festival celebrations, one-day excursions etc. Thank God for His grace that He has added to our numbers every week. We have been a witness to His great works in helping the Mandarin Service grow in Christ. All glory be to God. – Mary Ong





LeAD LIke jesUs wOrksHOP





Under The Tree Of Life Fridays 8 Jan – 28 Oct (32 sessions) | 7.30-10.00pm | TMC | Cost of Study Manual: $22 Closing date for registration: Sun 13 Dec 2015 FacilitatoRs


2-Day Precepts Discussion Leaders’ Workshop

Mr Philip Khoo is a Local Preacher of Aldersgate Methodist Church, and a Trainer with the DISCIPLE Agency. He has facilitated several rounds of DISCIPLE I, II, III and IV as well as Companions in Christ. Brother Philip entered full-time church ministry with Toa Payoh Methodist Church in 1989 after retiring as Senior Assistant with the Ministry of Education. He served with Pastor Paul from 1990 to 1998 in Toa Payoh Methodist Church, and then again from 2000 to 2006 in Aldersgate Methodist Church.

Thursdays, 2.00-5.00pm / 7.30-10.00pm (unless otherwise stated)

18 FEB – 7 APR excl 17, 24 Mar

Talk by Dr Tjio Swee Chuan, Chairman, Precepts Ministries SGP & NTU Lecturer on the Science of Creation

14 APR 2.00-5.30pm

28 APR – 18 AUG excl 2 Jun – 14 Jul

1 SEP – 27 OCT excl 22 Sep

Genesis Part 1 (Chapters 1 - 2)

Genesis Part 2 (Chapters 3 - 11)

Daniel Part 1 (Chapters 1 - 6)

Register with Park Ming / parkming@tmc.org.sg or www.tmc.org.sg/d&n.html#pup 30 18


Participant must have completed DISCIPLE I Course requires at least 16 persons to start.


This phase of DISCIPLE concentrates on the Writings in the Old Testament – Ruth, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations and Daniel. New Testament Scriptures include the Gospel of John; 1, 2, 3 John; James; Jude; and Revelation. The image of the tree of life frames the biblical story: In Genesis, in the midst of garden, but off limits; In Revelation, on either side of the river is the water of life, with fruit to eat and leaves for the healing of the nations. The colour is gold. Gold symbolises the glory and majesty of God, an emphasis found throughout the Writings. A reference to gold in Job connects the biblical concept of being tested and refined with the idea of moving toward completion – “when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold” (Job 23:10). The image of light permeates John’s Gospel. We think of light as golden. And images of gold from the book of Revelation come quickly to mind: the measuring rod of gold, the street of the city that is pure gold.

Image from: www.pixabay.com

FRI 22 - SAT 23 JAN

Pastor Paul Nga was appointed as a pastor to Trinity Methodist Church in Jan 2015. He is a Trainer with the DISCIPLE Agency. He has facilitated several rounds of DISCIPLE I, and has co-facilitated with Mr Philip Khoo at least one round of DISCIPLE II, III, and IV as well as Companions in Christ. Pastor Paul served as Chairman of DISCIPLE Agency from 2002 to 2008.

More at http://disciple.methodist.org.sg/index.php?option=com_content &view=article&id=18&Itemid=1

Register at the iSunday Counter / www.tmc.org.sg/d&n.html


Thur 3 - Sat 5 Dec Mandarin Service Leaders’ Retreat Sat 5 Dec 2.00pm Retirement Service for Rev Peter Goh Sun 6 Dec 2.00pm Outreach & Social Concerns Christmas Party and Methodist Welfare Services Bursary Distribution www.tmc.org.sg/osc.html

Tues 8 - Thurs 10 Dec Youth Avenue Camp “Unleash”


Sun 13 Dec Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) Exco Meeting Wed 16 - Sat 19 Dec Youth Camp “Fearless”


Sun 20 Dec Reception of New Members 8.45am / 11.15am Children’s Ministry Evangelistic Christmas Party 7.00pm Youth Avenue Christmas Party


Fri 25 Dec 9.00am Christmas Day Combined Service, including Baptism of Infants and Children Sun 27 Dec 10.00am WSCS Christmas Party for Domestic Helpers Thurs 31 Dec 10.30pm Watchnight Covenant Renewal Service Sat 9 Jan 9.00am Small Group Leaders’ Discipleship Group Sun 10, 17, 24, 31 Jan 2.00pm Baptism Class


Sun 10 to Wed 13 Jan Pastoral Team Retreat Fri 22 - Sat 23 Jan 9.00am 2-Day Precepts Discussion Leaders’ Workshop Every 2nd and 4th Sun 7.45am Church Prayer Meeting


Every 3rd Sun 10.00am WSCS Visitation to Homebound. Those interested to bring the church into the homes of the homebound, please contact Lucy Chan at 9748 2733. Last Sun of the month (not Dec) 9.00am Visit to Institute of Mental Health by Outreach & Social Concerns. Contact Yvonne Tan at 9091 8589 / yvnn_tan@yahoo.com www.tmc.org.sg/osc.html#imh

Every 1st Wed 10.00am - 12.00pm Yum Cha@10 is an opportunity for people to come together for fellowship, and serves as a platform for TMCers to meet one another as well as non-Christians in the community mid-week. Contact the church office / churchoffice@tmc.org.sg www.tmc.org.sg/ministries.html#gym

Last Thurs of the month (16 instead of 24 Dec) 10.00am - 12.00pm St Luke’s Eldercare Centre Devotions at Blk 217 Serangoon Ave 4. TMC’s ministry to SLEC brings hope, help and the love of Christ to many needy elderly. If you wish to join in, contact Eddie from the church office / eddie@ tmc.org.sg.

CREDITS Pastors Rev Alvin Chan Rev Paul Nga Rev Peter Goh Editorial Committee Amanda Yong Lim Sue Yien Samuel Wong Rose Tan Shuwen Koh Tricia Tong Vinitha Jayaram Designers Guo Xiao Rong Ng Xin Nie Olivia Ng Photographers Andrew Chong GK Tay Jason Tang Raymond Seah Victor Seah Resource freepik.com pixabay.com freeimages.com Printer Lithographic Print House Pte Ltd Views expressed in the Saltshaker belong to the contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the church or the Methodist Church of Singapore. Materials may only be reproduced with permission from the editorial team.


Every Fri (not 1 Jan) 8.00 - 10.00pm Healing Ministry at the Prayer Chapel Every Sat 9.00 - 11.30am Fellowship of the Ukulelians


Further details on TMC’s events can be found at www.tmc.org.sg

Background image by www.freepik.com


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The Saltshaker December 2015  

The Saltshaker December 2015  

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